USB Shinannigans

It Cost How Much!?!

Twisted
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To be honest we use supplied USB cables with BiAmp equipment, an EX-UBT carries 8 x 24/96 channels to a Dante network and I've never had one fail, it does make me roll my eyes when I see there are USB cables going upwards of £500 when you could spend £5 and blow the rest on hardware or music.
I still fail to see the requirement for reclockers, even a cheap DAC will ameliorate jitter.

I can't think I've had a duff USB cable in a domestic or pro audio but it might happen one day.
As an ex-IT person of 37 years, I have seen loads of fecked / non-working USB cables, especially from salesmonkeys 🙄
 

It Cost How Much!?!

Twisted
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I am not a USB user, it’s for old printers and peripherals as far as I am concerned (that’s a tease btw -no need to rise to that one folks, but I am ex HP printer business)

But if I was in the market and thinking of spending some serious bucks on USB components for hi fi, I would only invest in a hi fi manufacturer that was adopting latest USB standard and that is USB C.

That some manufacturers still ship hi fi stuff at a premium featuring USB B connects (dated to 1996) is inconceivable to me and is plain lazy in the world of high end hifi where componentry rigour is paramount to audiophiles (evidenced by many thread here) and huge premiums are being charged. But each to his own.

They are not all the same. Subsequent USB Generations have focussed on improved data throughput rates (currently 40Gbps on USB C Gen 4), tunnelling (not really relevant to hi fi, but allowing multiple protocols over same cable), and more power (up to 100 watts and 5A) to be carried as a charging device connection.

Whilst more power carried may ring alarm bells to audiophiles, USB C also applies far more rigour than previous gens to potential ESD/EMI for over voltage and spillages leakage events. Ergo it is the cleanest USB standard

The aforementioned tunnelling has also driven need for increased end to end isolation of data packets. Throughput rates are never going to challenged by audio, but increased dat streams isolation should also tick the audiophile box.

The real challenge for hi fi premium niche manufactures is in the need/option/cost to integrate low leakage diodes and ESD filters/signal conditioners into their devices to optimise clean fast USB C connectivity. The engineering skills and cost are high, which is why I suspect they tend to stick to older USB standards and connects, as these eat into profits.

One should expect latest and greates standards to be fully intergrated into premium hi fi. imho.

For example if I was spending the price of a car on a high end hi fi component such as the DCS Vivaldi apex, I would anticipate everything to be the best at component level. But, what do we see - even after their latest July update - for nigh on £30k you get USB 2.0?

Ditto Chord Dave 2 - still USB 2.0.

BTW am under no illusions that these are not amazing products to own and enjoy. But seeing OP having faff with USB 2.0 cables, made me think about just why the very high end manufacturers are not adoptng current standards?
For the speeds used in Hifi USB2 is more than enough. We are not talking huge data transfer here. USB-c in Hifi is a rubbish idea.
 
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awkwardbydesign

Perfect, apparently.
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The problem with USB C is that as a physical interface it is no where near as robust as USB B. The technical advantages of USB 3.1 via the USB C interface are self evident. But that isn’t needed for audio, and it is a rubbish interface for the banana fingered crew of which I am a fully paid up member! I struggled this morning with HDMI on a short stiff cable!
Our USB C phone charging cables have become flaky; I still use one where I have to twist it to the side to maintain contact. I know, I should change it but I am too mean. Says the man who just bought a brand new Accuphase amp!
And the USB-B cable I use between my Innuos and DAC has a separate power supply. Which is nice. :)
 

Chumpchops

From the safest places come the bravest words.
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The problem with USB C is that as a physical interface it is no where near as robust as USB B. The technical advantages of USB 3.1 via the USB C interface are self evident. But that isn’t needed for audio, and it is a rubbish interface for the banana fingered crew of which I am a fully paid up member! I struggled this morning with HDMI on a short stiff cable!

I see no benefit to USB ever, hence my sticking with optical/coax.

But many here do, and if they do so - why not insist on the best?

Physical robustness of cables is hardly an issue. Just buy a snake oil special. But in reality just How often are these things unplugged and moved? Particlauly given the bloated weight and dimensions of some high end bits.

S’funny you say technical advantages for USB C - those around better cross talk isolation, or better RFI etc protection - both of no use to audio? I actually agree, but many here clearly do not- threads citing ‘bits may be bits’ but it is the isolation and leakage that really counts in implementations- are numerous. USB C is best USB to minimize these, if those concepts seriously bother anyone. Yet it is dismissed. Too belt n braces. Who’d have thought it? ;)
 

Chumpchops

From the safest places come the bravest words.
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For the speeds used in Hifi USB2 is more than enough. We are not talking huge data transfer here. USB-c in Hifi is a rubbish idea.
Bet you said that about USB 1.0 when USB 2.0 came along;)

It’s actually a matter of when not if you will see USB C interfaces on audio kit. It‘s already featuring on some head fi stuff.

Audio has no choice but to follow IT manufacturers who drive standards. USB 4.0 is already rolling out with some PCs. This will have single standard cable C type connector.
 

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